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CARRYING ON
EARTH DAY FOUNDER'S LEGACY

When Porter McNeil read about Earth Day founder Senator Gaylord Nelsonís passing on July 3rd, it was a poignant moment. For some of us, that first Earth Day was more than just a reason to join in our school celebration for a day, said Porter. Weíve tried to make a small difference for the planet ever since. With this in thought, Porter started a website where people can find out about and buy earth-friendly products.

9 simple steps to make every day your personal Earth Day:

1) Keep your thermostat at 80 degrees in the summer, 65 in the winter. It is also smart to turn your AC system off if gone for more than a day in the summer. Natural gas prices are to be very high this winter so plan on cutting back now. Proper insulation and draft control can really save you dollars in your home temperature/humidity control.

2) Reduce lawn watering. Plant species native to your area that take in less water. We Floridians, for one, water our lawns way too much! A light watering of grass forces the roots of the grass to dig deeper for moisture making the grass stronger. Of course smart folks reduce their grass coverage totally and substitute ground cover.

3) Go solar. Recharge your cell phone with a 20-watt panel. Heat your pool or your whole house with direct sunlight. Solar photovoltaics CAN be for everyone. Maybe panel prices are still too high for you convert your entire house to solar electric but you can power smaller loads with panels such as remote sign lighting, 12v battery appliances, remote cabin power and more. In certain parts of the states, solar water heating is a no-brainer. Ask your local plumbing wholesaler for an installer.

4) Summer months: plant annual trees on the west and north sides of your home. Live in an apartment? Talk to the landlord. And how about where you work? Itís a low-tech money-saver. The trees will break the sunís rays. Throughout the winter, no leaf blockage means sunlight will help warm the structure.

5) Drive a hybrid. Invest in a Toyota Prius, Honda Insight,or Honda Civic for sedans or Toyota Highlander or Ford Escape for Sport Utility Vehicle hybrids. The offering of hybrids will increase every year for the next few years offering you more choices to save gas.

6) Use fluorescent and LED bulbs. They burn longer and are less hot than incandescent. LED bulbs are still harder to get for standard medium based bulbs but are available for many light commercial jobs. Compact flourescents are ubiquitous, but check the life rating. They should offer at least 10,000 hrs or you do not want them.

7) Start a new wave with water-saving devices. Experience water savings and cost reduction when buying low flow aerators, hands-free faucets, 1.6-gallon flush toilets, and low flow showerheads.

8) Hang your clothes out to dry. Even occasionally. Give your drier a break and save money.

9) Have concern for fellow citizens. The more efficiently you power your life, the more power there will be for the 6 billion other folks populating the planet. Youíve got the power. Use it!

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